Senate Democrats today failed to gain the 60 votes needed to block a Republican filibuster of Craig Becker’s nomination to serve as chair of the National Labor Relations Board. The cloture motion failed by a 52-33 vote, with number of Senators absent due to the ongoing weather conditions in Washington.
The official roll call vote is not yet available, but hearing the names called on C-SPAN, I can confirm that Sens. Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln voted “no.” Newly sworn-in Sen. Scott Brown also cast a vote against confirmation.
Becker, a counsel to the SEIU and the AFL-CIO, has written that “card check” could be enacted on the regulatory front by the NRLB. The measure, which has stalled on the legislative front, would deny workers a secret ballot on unionization, and thus enable labor to rapidly add members through intimidation.
Without being able to confirm Becker in the Senate, President Obama’s remaining option is to issue a recess appointment during the President’s Day break next week. He floated this idea in his press conference earlier today.
“If the Senate does not act — and I made this very clear — if the Senate does not act to confirm these nominees, I will consider making several recess appointments during the upcoming recess, because we can’t afford to allow politics to stand in the way of a well-functioning government,” Obama said.